An Embarrassment for Maryland

Nathaniel Oaks is finally leaving:

State Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks, who is facing trials on federal corruption and obstruction of justice charges, is resigning from the General Assembly at 9 a.m. on Thursday, according to the Senate president’s office.

The 71-year-old Baltimore Democrat submitted his resignation letter Wednesday night after the Senate’s evening session. Oaks made no public remarks and declined to talk with reporters before and after the session.

Federal prosecutors allege that Oaks took bribes from an informant who posed as a businessman in exchange for help getting government grants and other assistance. He’s set to go on trial on fraud charges in that case on April 16.

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But the calendar for the U.S. District Court in Baltimore shows that Oaks has a scheduled “motions hearing” for 11 a.m. Thursday, two hours after his resignation takes effect. It is unclear what the hearing will focus on and his attorneys could not be reached for comment.

That Oaks was allowed to stay in the State Senate as long as he was as somebody who admitted to accepting bribes related to his Senate duties is a complete embarrassment for Maryland.

The problem, of course, is that Oaks was a reliable vote for Senate Democratic leadership and they needed every close vote they could get from Oaks casting a reliable vote in the Senate. Now that radical and controversial bills like the change to school constructions, the constitution amendment on voter registration, and the overrides of Governor Larry Hogan’s vetoes are out of the way, Oaks is disposable.

As I wrote in January:

This isn’t somebody who has a squeaky clean reputation, mind you. Oaks is somebody who was almost 30 years ago was removed from the House of Delegates for stealing money from his campaign account. And he’s confessed to taking cash for services rendered while on the job as a legislator.

Nathaniel Oaks has confessed to taking bribes and Democrats in the Senate have no desire to see him removed. And why? Because Democrats realize that they need every vote they can get on the veto override of the paid sick leave bill.

As always, the Democrats display their situational ethics. They’ll never do the right thing when they can do the politically expedient thing in said.

Nathaniel Oaks is a frequent flier when it comes to ethics issues in his official duties. His continued service in the State Senate is a disgrace to the chamber and an affront to the citizens of Maryland. He should be removed office with all due haste.

That he wasn’t is an insult to every law-abiding citizen and every taxpayer of the state of Maryland. That Senate Democrats gave Oaks political cover for political purposes until he was no longer of use to them shows that the Senate Democrats are morally bankrupt and that none of them have the character and integrity required to adequately serve the people of this state.

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